Canadian teams close in on Curling World Cup championship berths

Canada's Jennifer Jones. (Paul Chiasson/CP)

BEIJING — Canadian teams won seven of eight games on Friday at the Curling World Cup Grand Final, setting the country up nicely heading into the final two days of the competition.

Laura Walker of Edmonton and Kirk Muyres of Saskatoon (4-1) leap-frogged into first in their mixed-doubles pool with a 9-2 win over China’s Cao Chang and Yuan Mingjie and a 9-8 victory over Americans Sarah Anderson and Korey Dropkin.

The Canadians can advance to Sunday’s final with a win over Switzerland’s Michele Jaeggi and Sven Michel on Saturday.

"We feel really good. That was one of the best mixed doubles games I’ve played in a long time," Walker said after the win over the U.S.

The Manitoba mixed doubles team of Kadriana Sahaidak and Colton Lott (3-2) was eliminated despite picking up two wins on Friday.

In women’s action, Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones (4-0) won two games. Jones’ rink beat Nina Roth of the U.S., 8-7 and edged Japan’s Satsuki Fujisawa 7-6. Jones won both games in draw-to-the-button shootouts.

"Myself, I’m not the biggest fan of shootouts but we’ve been on the right side of the inch — literally," Jones said.

In men’s play, Regina’s Matt Dunstone (1-3) won his first game at the event with a 5-2 victory over Olympic champ John Shuster of the U.S.

Calgary’s Kevin Koe (2-2) lost his only game of the day, falling 9-3 to Switzerland’s Yannick Schwaller.

First prize to the men’s and women’s champs is US$27,000, with $13,000 going to the runner-up. In mixed doubles, top prize is $13,500, with $6,500 going to the runner-up.

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